Col TriStar: classics for new vid line

“The Bridge on the River Kwai,””The Guns of Navarone,””Holiday” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” will be among the first titles to bow on Columbia TriStar Home Video’s Studio Heritage Collection.

The line of restored classic films, debuting Oct. 6, will be culled from the Columbia Pictures library.

The homevid label will also go on the road to promote the new line.

Homevid history

The collection marks the homevid industry’s first line of restored classic films (Daily Variety, July 14), all of which have been digitally mastered and audio-sweetened. Some of the vidcassettes will also feature the original theatrical trailers.

Designed for the growing sell-through marketplace, Heritage line titles will retail for $ 19.95. A John Singleton-hosted documentary short, “The Art of Restoration,” will appear at the beginning of selected titles. A commercial touting the new line will also appear on the vidcassettes.

‘Kwai’ kickoff

Although an announcement has not been made, sources say the line will be kicked off with a multi-city promotional tour, which will screen “River Kwai,” at several college film schools. Sir Alec Guinness and Lady Lean, wife of “Kwai” director Sir David Lean, have been approached about speaking on selected stops on the tour. A CTHV rep declined comment.

The titles were selected based on their “respected and honored place in film history,” according to Paul Culberg, CTHV exec VP. The new line, signals “Sony Pictures Entertainment’s commitment to film preservation and restoration.”

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